Originally Posted by sepiareverb
How much of this could be accounted for by improved coatings and the much larger physical size of the RF version?
Just curious, from my observation the glass elements on the Rollei 35S and the 40mm Sonnar are identical (at least the front and the rear elements), are u sure the physical size of the glasses are bigger? Or just the lens metal construction bigger?
I doubt Rollei has the financial strength to redevelope the Sonnar. Also the original design consideration I believe is to cater for a collaspable moderate wide angle and therefore the rear elements cannot protrude too far to the film plane. If a completely new design they would have removed that constraint and get a new design with less distortion. Just my guess.
The new lens has to be bigger to cater for the range finder focusing mechanisms.